Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Tattoo Design, But For A Friend This Time

A good friend of mine who is an avid cyclist, former competitive mountain biker, outdoor enthusiast, Registered Massage Therapist and Yoga Instructor, and I were talking about tattoos. It all started when I shared the idea that I had for my tattoo (see previous posts for the design, the concept and the finished work). Being a Yogi and a RMT, she was considering having an "Om" symbol tattoo put on the top of her foot; something that she could gaze down on as she worked on clients to remain centered and calm.

Tattoo's are incredibly personal things which should, in my opinion, bare significance that extends beyond fashion and fads. I put forth the argument that it seems everyone is getting Eastern Spiritual tattoos - Yoga practitioners in particular - and, while I think many of them are amazing, we must ask ourselves how much is our desire to follow a fad and, from a cultural perspective, why do we find the necessity for the exoticism of another culture (I wrote rather extensively about this issue pertaining to my self-identification as a 'Buddhist' several posts back, and how I was concerned that the concepts were becoming intertwined with culture and thus causing me to be more like an Asian person than a person living by the concepts of Buddhism), rather than finding something a bit more grounded in our own? Don't get me wrong, I was totally playing devil's advocate as I am apt to do, but I wanted her to really think about this commitment, and to get something that had a deeper meaning/relevance for her.

In the end, she more or less got what I was saying, and began to think a bit deeper on the matter.

I did too. Having known this person for nearly a decade, I created the design above. Below (in black)you will find my explanation of the design that I sent my friend...............

Okay, so I was playing with a couple of ideas here, all, more or less, drawing on the same theme. The overall idea was to weave together your love of cycling, the mountains and Yoga. I also wanted to covey of "union" which is what Yoga is all about - body, breath and spirit.


This is roughly what the actual tattoo would look like. It is crude as I did it on MS Paint, so my limited artistic abilities were hindered further by the fact that I was using this programme and drawing with a mouse. If you were to take this to an artist, he/she could tidy it up significantly.

I looked around for a good mountain design. I wanted something simple with a peak, preferably in a Japanese/Chinese style - just the simple lines or wood block carving way they do stuff, preferably with a sharp peak, capped in snow. The mountain of course represents the obvious, but also strength and the body.

Next was incorporating the Om. Again, I looked at a few different styles, with the idea of having it transposed in the centre of the mountain. Combining this, you have the symbol of strength, with the symbol of spirit at it's heart.

To incorporate the cycling aspect, I wanted to place either a cog or wheel in an aura around the mountain peak (I went with the wheel in this version, simply because I like the sense of motion and direction). This would represent the reaching of goals/summit, while also having the cog or wheel represent light, sun and the dharma wheel.

Lastly, the word "breathe" at the bottom is very Yoga related, and it seems to be a bit of a mantra with you. It represents slowing down, savoring life, and life in general (so now we have the mountain - body, om - spirit, and breathe - the union between these things and, of course Yoga = union). As far as the script goes, I thought perhaps you might want to write it in actual Sanskrit, or in English, but with the Sanskrit font you see on a lot of the Yoga products today.

I think I'd keep it black and white, though a bit of colour in the spokes might make it cool - like an Aurora Borealis kind of thing...

Curious to hear what you think about it.



"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."

~ Gandhi

Please visit my Blog @



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home